Decolonising the Stage: Paradigm, Practice and Politics ,November 15 – 17, 2011

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Department of English Banaras Hindu University
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International Conference

Decolonising the Stage:
Paradigm, Practice and Politics

Department of English
Banaras Hindu University

November 15 – 17, 2011


R. N. Rai
Professor & Head
Department of English
Faculty of Arts
Banaras Hindu University

Concept Note
Decolonisation is an ongoing historical process which attempts to dismantle the effects of colonialism in the material, cultural, pedagogical, discursive and textual domains. It resists the formation of unequal relations of power based on binary oppositions. It is an effective mode of disidentifying the entire structure of society from the sovereign codes of cultural organisation. Committed to stir up the native spirit, the creative artists devise strategies to resist imperialistic effects. Decolonising the stage implies a relentless contestation of colonial discourses, power structures and social hierarchies. Dramatic and performance theories, developed particularly in conjunction with Bertolt Brecht, Antonin Artaud, Vsevolod Meyerhold, Jerzy Grotowski, Augusto Boal and others on the one hand and on the other Wole Soyinka, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, Rawle Gibbons, Derek Walcot, Rabindranath Tagore, Suresh Awasthi , Girish Karnad ,Jack Davis, Paul Maunder , Athol Fugard among others focus upon the debates about language, subject formation, interpellation, representation and forms of resistance to colonial norms. Postcolonial theatre seeks to explore the possibility of cross-cultural aesthetics and performance practices and asks questions about tradition, modernity, globalisation and cultural identity.
The conference aims at developing reading and performance strategies for explicating a range of postcolonial playtexts and deconstructing imperialist notions and practices. Some specific areas of discussion may include (but are not limited to):
 Postcolonial Indian theatrical traditions and Contemporary plays in English
 Experiments in world theatre
 Reappropriating the traditional
 The issue of marginality and the use of theatrical space: women's voices, gendered histories, queer futures and disability Theatre
 The problematic positioning of language
 Magic realist Theatre and its association with postcoloniality
 "In-between Space" and hybridity
 Transculturation and the effects of competing multiple theatrical discourses.
An Abstract of about 300 words may be submitted electronically (as attachment in MS-word) by 15th September, 2011,
Name, institutional affiliation, e-mail, mailing address and phone/cell number should be mentioned.
Intimation of acceptance of paper will be mailed after 30th September2011.

Local /Outstation Participant: Rs.1000
Overseas Delegate: $50
(Registration fee includes conference kit, working lunch and tea).

Mode of Payment
Bankers' Cheque/ Demand Draft should be drawn in favour of "Decolonising the Stage Conference" payable at Varanasi.
Outstation participants will have to make their own arrangements, details of hotels will be made available to them.
The City of Varanasi
Varanasi, the holy city of India, is also known by the name of Kashi and Benaras. Flanked by two tributaries Varuna and Assi and facing the river Ganga, Varanasi is a crescent shaped land. Famous as the seat of Lord Vishwanath, it is an ancient city celebrated by Mark Twain as "older than history …older than legend" .The holy city has been a symbol of spiritualism, philosophy and mysticism for thousands of years and has produced great saints and personalities like Patanjali, Guatama Buddha, Mahavira, Shankaracharaya, Ramanuja, Kabir and Tulsidas. It is known for its silk weaving craft and more notably for its vibrant traditions of art, literature and music. In continuation of this rich tradition, Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya established Banaras Hindu University on 4th February 1916 with a vision to synthesize the traditional knowledge systems with science and technology. About 15 Km away is a famous Buddhist shrine at Sarnath. Varanasi is considered as the cultural capital of India. The city presents a curious blend of the spiritual and the material, tradition and modernity.
November is usually pleasant in Varanasi .Light winter clothing may be required.
Varanasi is well connected by air and rail. The university is 35 kms from the airport and about 8 kms from the railway station. The fare for pre paid taxi from the airport is Rs.700 (approx.) and Rs.250 from the railway station. Reserved auto-rickshaws at the station are available for about Rs.70-80. Mughalsarai, an important railway junction on the main and chord line is about 20kms from BHU. The taxi fare from Mughalsarai to BHU is Rs. 400 (approx) and auto fare is Rs. 200(approx).

For further queries you may contact:

R. N. Rai
Convener, International Conference
Professor & Head
Department of English
Banaras Hindu University
Cell: +919450545311
e -mail:

M. S. Pandey
Academic Affairs Committee
Professor of English
Banaras Hindu University
Cell: +919415811957

Anita Singh
Academic Affairs Committee
Professor of English
Banaras Hindu University
Cell: +919451722121;

Registration Form



Mailing Address:

Title of the Paper:

Details of Registration Fee:

Signature of Delegate